The English Major in Macomb
Unlike Western Illinois University, most universities are based in large, English major friendly towns. Take Springfield, for example, home of University of Illinois-Springfield. Among the outlet malls, White Oaks Mall, department stores, and the plethora of places to wine and dine your way to a happier self, lies places like Barnes and Noble, The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, and some other great places to enjoy a good read. Hell, even Galesburg, home of Carl Sandburg College, has a mall that would be perfect to settle down into in order to read a good book. But it’s not all about the reading we do in our leisure time or the reading we do for class. English majors are a special bunch; that is to say that we can be resourceful when the need arises.
With that in mind, Macomb is different than most college towns. The largest town within a twenty to thirty minute radius, Macomb’s pride mostly comes from WIU. If you’ve ever stayed here for any period of time longer than a month, you’ve probably noticed that Macomb sort of shuts down when campus closes. The running joke is that Macomb “rolls up the sidewalks at 5 p.m. when Western isn’t in session.” Sure, during the summer a few sporadic classes are in session, but for the most part, Macomb returns to a rather quiet, peaceful little town in West Central Illinois. So what is there to do for the English major in Macomb? Well, New Copperfield’s is a great place to venture in to when looking for something different. Wine Sellers is another great place to sit down, read a good book, and enjoy a glass of wine (providing you are of age). Macomb Public Library is nice, but is small and can become rather busy at times.
Here’s my two cents worth: Macomb is what you make it. For English majors, there really isn’t anything English major oriented despite a few small establishments, but that’s okay. I like to think that every town has a story and a history just waiting to be explored by anybody passing through. If that passing takes four years or just four minutes, there really is something for everyone. Go out and explore the town; go to the courthouse and read about Macomb’s rich history, go out dancing to some band you’ve probably never heard of at The Outskirts, walk around the square and find something, anything that catches your eye. One of my favorite things to do when in a new place is eating at every place that isn’t a major chain restaurant. Sometimes you’ll be surprised by what you find. But just remember: it’s what you make of it. Don’t sit in your room and moan about how Macomb sucks and how much you hate it. Get out there and explore for yourself the place you call home for a majority of the year.